Category Archives: iPhone
Popular personal finance site Mint.com is launching an update to its iOS app today that adds the ability to split transactions and adjust budgets on the fly. Those two new features were the most requested from users and make an already excellent app even better. Intuit gave me a sneak peek of the updated app last week, and it’s clear that the progression of their app demonstrates the company is keenly aware of how important mobile is becoming to the Mint platform. The company told me that Mint users are remarkably mobile-oriented. In fact, some 40% of the service’s subscribers access their accounts only through their mobile devices – skipping the desktop browser entirely. And that number is rising thanks to the popularity of its iPad app. Intuit expects over half of Mint’s users will only access the service via mobile very soon.
The new split transaction and budget features apply to both the iPhone and iPad app. To adjust a budget, tap the budget category to reveal a 6-month spending bar chart for that category. The bar chart is helpful for you to see how much your actual spending for that budget changes month-to-month. Your current budget is displayed in a slider to the right of the bar chart. If you want to change your budget, simply drag the slider up or down. A nice feature of the budget slider is a variable speed scrubbing that readers will be familiar with from iOS’s video apps. While adjusting the budget, users can slide their finger to the left or right to decrease or increase the budget in smaller or larger increments (say, $1, $10, or $25 at a time). Users can also select additional budget categories to display in addition to the currently shown ones.
The other major new feature is the ability to split transactions. While viewing your transactions you’ll now see a “split” button. Tap it to bring up the split transaction window. You can then divide a transaction into as many categories as you want. For example, a $2,500 transaction from Walmart, which by default would normally be labeled “Shopping,” can now be split into multiple transaction categories — i.e. $1,200 for “Electronics,” $85 for “Food,” $234 for “Clothing,” etc. Best of all there’s no arithmetic required. When you split a transaction, each category’s sum is automatically deducted from the original category’s total.
I first saw Pocket Planes, Nimblebit’s next freemium title, running at GDC earlier this year. Being a huge fan of both Pocket Frogs and Tiny Tower, I can’t wait to see it in action on my iPhone and iPad. Unfortunately, the game’s not out yet (it’s still “coming soon”), but Nimblebit has released a trailer below, so you can at least see what the game is like and how it plays.
The game uses the same 8-bit aesthetic and characters as Tiny Tower, but instead of building floors in a building, you’re growing an empire of airplanes, flying them around the world for fun and profit. You’ll need to build up both planes and airports, and different types of planes fly at different speeds and have different fuel capacities, which can limit how far they can travel.
When you think of iOS and communication, you think of Skype or FaceTime, but there’s a growing number of people who are using the device to communicate in unconventional ways. One such application is OneVoice from Legend, an augmentative and alternative communication app for the iPad and the iPhone.
Designed for non-verbal adults and children, the app has over 100 large, clear icons with recognizable images from your everyday environment. People can click on the icons to build sentences and then hit the speak button to speak. There’s also a group of emoticons so people can communicate how they feel. It has a simple, logical UI that makes it easy for people to share their thoughts with others.
When Siegecraft was first released on the App Store (by Crescent Moon Games, who have made some really amazing titles over the past few years), I remember it being marketed as “Angry Birds in 3D.” And that description kind of works — you are indeed flinging various weapons (though not of the aviary kind) at structures and trying to bring them down.
But I think a description like “active tower defense” works a little bit better. In Siegecraft, you are building towers, but instead of them just firing away on their own, you need to aim and fire them yourself, defending against invaders and trying to lay siege to enemy towns. The action is fast and fun, and there’s a lot of it: You can play six campaigns with over twenty levels each, and three different races with their own abilities and towers. There’s even turn-based multiplayer included, and if you play the game on iPad, there’s extra content to see there as well.
A lot of Americans are planning on taking vacations starting this Memorial Day weekend, and now Select Destinations wants to help iPhone-toting tourists get discount tickets to more than 400 attractions around the US. GoSelectPass.com provides a way for tourists to browse attraction info in seven major cities, purchase tickets online, and get valuable discounts in the process.
At present, there’s not an iOS app for GoSelectPass, although one will be available soon. For now, you can point your device browser to GoSelectPass.com to check out the mobile site and set up an account. Once you select the attractions you wish to visit, you pay one fee for a discounted pass. That pass appears as a QR code on your device that you show for entry to the attraction.